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Book Chapter: ‘Substantial similarity of expression’ in copyright infringement actions: A linguistic perspective

Title‘Substantial similarity of expression’ in copyright infringement actions: A linguistic perspective
Authors
Issue Date2010
Citation
Copyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique, 2010, p. 147-193 How to Cite?
Abstract© Cambridge University Press 2010. Non-literal copying and literary copyright Commenting on the resemblance between two designs with similar patterns of stripes and flowers in Designer’' Guild, Lord Hoffmann explains how there can still be infringement without literal copying. He points out that: The original elements in the plot of a play or a novel may be a substantial part, so that copyright may be infringed by a work which does not reproduce a single sentence of the original. If one asks what is being protected in such a case, it is difficult to give any answer except that it is an idea expressed in the copyright work. ‘It is difficult’, says Lord Hoffmann, ‘to give any answer’. The answer he does give (that the idea is ‘expressed’ in the copyright work) neatly encapsulates the challenge presented by what is called the ‘idea–expression dichotomy’ in copyright law. That dichotomy, visited and revisited from different points of view in judicial statements and in the academic literature, forms the main topic of this chapter. My aim is to consider whether linguistic description can add anything to its clarification. The basic distinction between ‘ideas’ and ‘expression’ can be simply stated: ideas are not protected (and so cannot be monopolised by a copyright holder, remaining available for everyone to use) but the specific expression of an idea is. This is an established concept of Anglo-American copyright law, based on the contribution made by public communications to the ‘marketplace of ideas’.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222683
ISBN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorDurant, Alan-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-19T03:36:56Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-19T03:36:56Z-
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.identifier.citationCopyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique, 2010, p. 147-193-
dc.identifier.isbn9780521193436-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222683-
dc.description.abstract© Cambridge University Press 2010. Non-literal copying and literary copyright Commenting on the resemblance between two designs with similar patterns of stripes and flowers in Designer’' Guild, Lord Hoffmann explains how there can still be infringement without literal copying. He points out that: The original elements in the plot of a play or a novel may be a substantial part, so that copyright may be infringed by a work which does not reproduce a single sentence of the original. If one asks what is being protected in such a case, it is difficult to give any answer except that it is an idea expressed in the copyright work. ‘It is difficult’, says Lord Hoffmann, ‘to give any answer’. The answer he does give (that the idea is ‘expressed’ in the copyright work) neatly encapsulates the challenge presented by what is called the ‘idea–expression dichotomy’ in copyright law. That dichotomy, visited and revisited from different points of view in judicial statements and in the academic literature, forms the main topic of this chapter. My aim is to consider whether linguistic description can add anything to its clarification. The basic distinction between ‘ideas’ and ‘expression’ can be simply stated: ideas are not protected (and so cannot be monopolised by a copyright holder, remaining available for everyone to use) but the specific expression of an idea is. This is an established concept of Anglo-American copyright law, based on the contribution made by public communications to the ‘marketplace of ideas’.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofCopyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique-
dc.title‘Substantial similarity of expression’ in copyright infringement actions: A linguistic perspective-
dc.typeBook_Chapter-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/CBO9780511761577.009-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84926980634-
dc.identifier.spage147-
dc.identifier.epage193-

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